by: Ilse Strauss
Saturday, 24 October 2020 | “The State of Israel and the Republic of Sudan have agreed to make peace.”
With those words, US President Donald Trump revealed yet another historic step forward for peace and prosperity in the troubled Middle East, with Sudan becoming the third Arab nation in three months after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to break with more than seven decades of an anti-Israel narrative, rejectionism and all our war to take Jerusalem’s outstretched hand of peace.
The announcement of the US-brokered normalization of diplomatic ties between Israel and Sudan came last night Israel time during a conference call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and Sudan’s transitional leader, Lt.–Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. President Trump invited a number of reporters into the Oval Office for the formal announcement.
“This is one of the great days in the history of Sudan,” an elated President Trump said. “For decades, Sudan has been at a state of war with Israel. They have…boycotted Israeli goods. There was no relationship whatsoever. Today’s peace agreement will enhance Israel’s security and end Sudan’s long isolation from the world.”
“For much of recent history, the people of Sudan were ruled over by brutal Islamic dictatorships” the US president continued, seemingly referring to the bloody reign of long-time President Omar al-Bashir who was deposed in a coup d’état last year. Al-Bashir stands accused of organizing war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court.
Hamdok currently heads a transitional government that came into power after al-Bashir’s ousting and aims to steer the country toward a more peaceful and open democracy.
“We very much look forward… to establis[hing] strong political and economic relations between our nations and the rest of the world,” Hamdok said during the call last night.
For his part, al-Burhan thanked President Trump, Netanyahu and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for standing with Sudan’s transitional government “from the beginning.”
Welcoming Israel’s third Arab peace partner, Netanyahu hailed the decision as a harbinger of “a new world. We are cooperating with everyone. Building a better future for all of us.”
“We are expanding the circle of peace so rapidly with your leadership,” Netanyahu told President Trump, to which the US president replied: “There are many, many more coming.”
President Trump boasted that “at least five” other countries—including Saudi Arabia and ultimately also Israel’s arch-foe Iran—would follow in the UAE, Bahrain and now Sudan’s footsteps to normalize ties with Israel, eventually drawing the divided Middle East together into “one, united family.” Peace with Iran, he stressed, would, however, be contingent on Tehran abandoning its nuclear ambitions.
According to the Times of Israel, Netanyahu remained on the call to answer reporters’ questions after the Sudanese leaders said their goodbyes.
In answer to a question posed by President Trump, Netanyahu described the US-orchestrated normalization process between Israel and three Arab nations over the past three months as “mind-boggling.”
“It changes the lives of people,” he explained. “We’re not engaging in bloodshed; we’re not engaging in antagonism. We’re engaging in cooperation for the present and the future….We’re seeing the fruits of peace right now…days after signing the agreements. We’ve never seen anything like this.”
Netanyahu conceded that not everybody shares Israel and its peace partners’ excitement over the newfound peace and cooperation. “Iran is unhappy, Hezbollah is unhappy, Hamas is unhappy, but most everybody else is very happy and they should be, because peace is a good thing…What does it feel like? It’s amazing.”
The prime minister is right. The Palestinians are indeed unhappy. The Palestinian Liberation Organization had a statement drafted before President Trump and Netanyahu hung up, decrying the agreement as “a new stab in the back for the Palestinians,” while Hamas dismissed it as a “step in the wrong direction.”
The Palestinians’ outlook does, however, side them with a small minority alongside Iran and Turkey. As for the rest of the world, the fruit of peace between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain is already ripening in abundance for all to see. In choosing to side with Israel, Sudan has taken a step in the right direction.
Posted on October 24, 2020
Source: (Bridges for Peace, 24 October, 2020)
Photo Credit: Aquintero82/wikimedia.org
Photo License: Wikimedia
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